Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Logan - Barcelona Week 9

Thank you Mom and Ashley for your letters!

Dear Family,

Well things are going well. We had three conferences this week which was a bit overwhelming but everything went smoothly. Everyone said I looked really tired. How do you respond to that?...."Thanks?" A few things on my mind have been weighing me down. I want to work in our area and baptize at least one more person before I come home, but it’s so hard to find the time. Then I also have been thinking about the office things and looking for ways to better it and we constantly have things to do here. Then lastly, home comes to mind occasionally and that scares me. I don’t even know what to think about that. I feel better now that I have been accepted to BYU Idaho but now I am worrying about what track they are going to give me. It’s hard for me to not think at least 6 months in advance.

Tuesday we went to Palma the island and the conference went pretty well. Then Wednesday we had conference with Barcelona and the following day with Hospitalet. Today we took P-day and we went out to eat at some Argentine grill. It was pretty good. Next week we have a full schedule. Monday afternoon we are leaving to Murcia which is far away. We will have a conference there Tuesday and then another one in Valencia on Wednesday. Then Thursday next week we will take p-day and Friday-Sunday we will be on another island called Menorca. The Branch is really struggling so I came up with this crazy idea to take the best missionaries out there to try and publicize for a church tour. We are going to storm the whole island and everyone is going to get a flyer. If we don’t see any results from this President will have to close down the branch and take missionaries off. Right now the missionaries are the only ones keeping it going.

The conferences have gone well and I have enjoyed teaching with Elder Jensen and the Hinckleys. I´m glad that Elder Jensen is going to BYU Idaho. We will be seeing each other soon. I´m going to get back on Monday and finish this letter.

Well we almost didn’t go to church today. The bus took forever to come by, and I wasn’t feeling well. Right as we were about to walk back to the office the bus came around the corner. I was glad that we made it there just in time for sacrament. The importance of the sacrament has defiantly been one of the most valuable lessons I have learned on the mission. Once we really remember Jesus Christ always is when we always have his spirit.We taught a recent convert that asked us why she doesn’t always feel the spirit like she did when she was baptized or like she does when she reads the Book of Mormon. I responded by using the Sacrament Prayers in Moroni. When we are keeping our part of the covenant God blesses us with the spirit. The problem is during the week there are many instances when we are not thinking about Christ or “remembering him always”. If we always kept our baptismal covenant and always remembered Jesus Christ we would never sin and always be worthy of the Spirit. That is part in reason why Missionaries feel the spirit so much. We are constantly testifying of Christ and avoiding anything that leads us to forget him or in other words sin.

After each zone conference we have a short meeting with the District Leaders and the Zone Leaders to ask their advice about conference and to see how we can improve it. I think President is very wise for doing this. It helps everyone to feel a part of the big picture and keeps us all united and on the same page. When we prayed with the other mission leaders I really felt a sense of unity. It’s so important that we have that relationship with them because then when we ask them to do things they trust us and insure that it happens.

Well that is enough for this week. Do we know what day I am speaking? If we leave to California on Monday I would like to speak the first Sunday the 28th and get it over with. Also the next Sunday is general Conference (4th) and the Following Fast Sunday the (11th). The Sunday after that we will be in St George the (18th) and the one after that the (25th) I will be in Idaho so I don’t think we have many options. Will the river be high enough to Surf in April? Will you ask Bishop what the topic is when we settle on the day?

Some things I want to do in Cali,

· Visit the Temple

· Surf until I get back into shape

· Kite Surfing Lessons

· Get a Massage

Is the whole family going to cali? What day are we leaving?

Elder Logan Gogarty

ps yes I woud like to room with Brad. Hopefully I get in the Spring track. Once that info gets to the house please email me and let me know what track I will be on.
For the Mesa Trip the 7th I would like to leave and get there not too late. Then leave Saturday the 10th in the morning. So I still have the day with you guys.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Logan - Barcelona Week 8

The first picture is of Irana, the woman we baptized.

Thanks Jess and Brenna for the valentine.

Today is Saturday and we just got back from our little trip to Valencia. We had a great time and I have been enjoying too much my time with Elder Jensen. We did intercambios with the Zone Leaders in Valencia and also attended a baptism of a family that he taught while he was there. It was fun to see some of the members I know from Valencia, and I was surprised that they still remembered who I was. However I missed the baptism of Irina the woman I taught in Badalona, but tomorrow we will be going to see the confirmation. It is late but we have to finish a video we are making before the conferences next week. We did short interviews with all the missionaries that went home last transfer and asked them some fun questions. Now we are editing the film and will watch it during conference.

I ´m going to jump back to Monday and tell you what has happened this week. Monday the Hinckleys took us to get Patatas Bravas at the El Bar de Thomas, supposedly the best in Spain. It was fun to enjoy some of the Spanish culture with the Hinckleys. We then went back to their house and ate to celebrate the departure of my old companion and the arrival of my new one.

Tuesday however was not so pleasant. Tuesday was transfer days so we had to help with getting people all over Spain to their new homes and companions. We were driving back and forth from the airport and train station dropping off clueless missionaries and getting ridiculous phone calls all day. We also picked up a new missionary and dropped her off in a hurry. It was frustrating to come back to the office to pick up the next set of missionaries to take to the station just to see that they weren’t ready and clueless about everything. They know what time their train leaves but make zero effort to catch it. Everyone just stands around waiting to be told what to do. Needless to say sheep herding the dumb missionaries was stressful. One kid missed two trains, got his bag stolen, and then went to the wrong city and had to stay the night with members. It was a mess and we are having a meeting with President this week to make things run smoother. I suggested taking pictures of the set meeting spots in each station and sending them out but we´ll see what happens. We also got pulled over Tuesday and Elder Ames didn’t have his carnet de conducir, but we luckily got away with a warning.

Wednesday Elder Jenesen and I taught a pre-game concilio to the Zone Leaders here in the office. It went well and helped prepare us for the concilio the following day. We also ordered pizza for all the zone leaders to help create more unity between us and them.

Thursday was concilio and we were with the Presdient and the Zone Leaders all day talking about the mission and what we can do to improve things. Right now the focus is the Book of Mormon. We are all reading it in three months. He gave us the invite in last conference and I should finish it again right before I come home. We are reading it quickly and he has given us a specific marking exercise that has been really interesting. We are all going to pray about the Book of Mormon the Sunday before I go home to strengthen our testimony and receive another witness that it is indeed true.

Things are going really well mission wise. We continue to improve drastically. At this rate we should baptize 50% more then what we did last year. A lot of souls are being saved. I had the chance to do the baptismal interviews for the family we saw baptized in Valencia tonight. I love doing the interviews. The whole family was so ready and excited to make this covenant with God. The Dad looked like a changed man as he came out of the water tonight it was great to see.

Tomorrow we are headed to the islands to do intercambios and then conference on Tuesday. The rest of the week we will be traveling for conferences. I will probably take Preparation day on Friday. If you want to get on at the same time as me Dad I would love to talk about the trip. Just let me know what time you can get on.

Today we got to eat lunch with the Hinckleys and talk about Zone conferences it has been a super nice easy going Sunday, kind of like they use to be before the mission. I was also able to make it to the confirmation which went really well and I felt the spirit strongly as she bore her testimony after. Well love you all have a great week!

Elder Logan Gogarty

Monday, February 8, 2010

Logan - Barcelona Week 7

Thanks Lis and Jess for your letters!

I am tempted to not write a letter because there is just too much going on right now. President is not going to let me get trunky that is for sure. He just swamped me with stuff to do, and on top of that this week is transfer week which means the office will be a zoo for missionaries coming and going. We also have lots of success going on in our proselyting area which adds to the craziness. Last Saturday we had a baptism. I think I mentioned Moses in my last letter but he was baptized and all went well. I could use the whole letter to tell you of the many miracles I have seen while working with him but there is no time. It suffices to say that he has been prepared by angels and the spirit has converted him. Every time we visit him I feel the spirit as he speaks.

Another miracle of the week was working on transfers with President and Hermana Hinckley. It was amazing to take part in making such a big and important puzzle, matching the right people together so that they can have the experiences they need and so that they can work well together and carry out the work God has for them. We thought we had it finished on Thursday but a companionship kept coming back to my mind and I knew we had to change it, but I didn’t want to say anything because everything else looked so good and when you change one it affects everyone. It kept coming back to my mind, so Friday I said something and President said he was thinking the same thing so we started changing things. I saw the change we were supposed to do in my mind, but I didn’t want to say anything because it involved Elder Monks going senior companion, and I didn’t want it to seem as if I were changing it because we are friends. Then my comp made the change on the board and everyone liked it. We then thought it was done Friday, but I got a phone call late Saturday night from a missionary in Zaragoza. He told me that he had been texting a girl and needed to be moved and so I told him to call President. Once again we had to make changes. We went in there and started moving things and nothing was happening, nothing was working. I realized we hadn’t said a prayer to start so I said well let’s say a prayer, so we did and right the prayer we knew exactly what to do. We all agreed and then felt the spirit confirm that it was correct. It was an amazing experience for me.

Sunday we had a Special Spain Broadcast and we heard from Elder Nelson. It went really well and to my pleasant surprise I ran into a Russian lady that I taught in Badalona. She came up to me and told me that she wanted to get baptized so I called my old companion and we set the date for this Saturday. I will probably go up to Badalona to perform the ordinance. We also have had a ton of success with the less actives in our ward and we have seen the re activation of a lot of them.

Today the Hinckley are taking us to get the best Patatas Bravas in Spain. They said we need to party more.

Well my new companion Elder Jensen will be here today and this week will be crazy with picking up new missionaries dropping old ones off and concilio meetings along with a million other things. My whole last transfer is already scheduled and packed to the max with traveling. I love you all, have a great week!
Elder Logan Gogarty

My drivers license is expired. Could someone pass by the DMV to see if they can extend it due to the fact that I am here in Spain
I want Jilly Cluffs email address along with James Greff
I will think about the dates you sent me and the trip and then write you back today Dad. I am re considering the conference because now Elder Petersen is going too.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Logan - Barcelona Week 6

Dear Family,

Well I already sent a written letter home that contains a lot of what happened at the beginning of the week, and you should receive it today or tomorrow. Last Monday after our meeting with President we zipped to the train station and headed down south to Valencia. We ride the trains so much that I now recognize the all the workers on the train. We actually missed our train though because the meeting with President went late. We were talking about transfers and who is going where and before we knew it we had been in talking for three hours. During that meeting he also asked me who I wanted for my next companion. It was crazy looking at the board of missionaries and trying to decide who I wanted. In President's office there is a huge board with pictures of all the missionaries that shows where they are at in Spain and who they are with. A lot of our Monday meeting is spent sitting looking at the pictures and talking about the needs of those missionaries also reviewing the numbers for each missionary of the previous week.

The Valencia trip went well and I got to do an intercambio with Elder Jensen. He is who I have chosen to be my next companion, but he still doesn’t know. We had a good time and went to eat with an American family who lives on the beach. The dad has actually been taking kite surfing lessons and while we were there we watched a few kite surfers. I definitely want to get into it after the mission. It was frustrating that I felt awkward speaking with the family in English. I had to think about what I was going to say and everything came out funny. I say the most ridiculous things in English now. Like¨ we played all the day long¨ because in Spanish "todo el dia" is how we would say it. I need help when I get home.

I told you about Jazel last week and this week she has been super busy and it has been hard to get in contact with her. I said a prayer specifically for her and yesterday when we left the office she was walking up the road and we were able to talk to her for a minute. It sounds like she had read bad stuff on the internet about us and I explained to her that if you want to know something about us and the church then talk to us and not anyone else. It’s amazing asking God for things and feeling completely worthy and confident that he will give you those things which you asked for. When we are being good we can ask God anything with confidence and then plan on receiving it. "God you know me I am doing all I can and am being the best I can and I need this so please give it to me." Our will becomes his and we receive what we want and what God wants.

We will be baptizing a man named Moses this weekend and he is from Peru. We honestly haven’t taken on a huge roll in his conversion. He has been prepared by angels. He has already made all the changes necessary and just showed up to church. We talked to him and basically just made baptismal arrangements. He is worried about his family in Peru and is worried that his wife who is less active in the church. We gave him a chapter to read in the Book of Mormon and told him to think about the questions he wants answers to about his wife and family and in the following visit he told us how God told him exactly what he needed to do. It has been amazing to see the change in this guy’s life. He said he has no feelings of hate locked up in side anymore and he feels so much better. He has truly been converted by the spirit.

Biggest news is that our mission is taking over the Victoria stake of Bilbao and the mission of Bilbao is being dissolved. Madrid will be taking over the other part and Malaga will be taking our southern stake of Elche which is really sad. We will lose all those missionaries to the Malaga Mission. This will take place in July. It was pretty exciting to get the news. The Hinckleys came down into the office late last night at 11:30 and then we just sat in his office and talked about it till 12:30. He seems to have mixed feelings but is excited about it. I am talking him into doing a tour of the new part of the mission so I can go with him and we can scout it out.

This morning we will be having our Monday meeting and its going to be wild trying to decide who we will put in the Elche Stake because they will be changing missions and we will lose them. Well I have already written too much. Love you guys. Have a great week!
Love,Elder Gogarty

Oh I also met a Mexican from Beremejillo and he knew all the same people I did his name is Thomas Flore we talked about the Junkyard and everything it was great.One more thing, Do you guys know who Ricky Shrouder is? He is in our ward and was in some older movies.